Poultry sausages-information

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When one thinks of sausage, the meat that ordinarily comes to mind is pork, sometimes beef, but usually never meat that comes from anything that has wings and feathers. There are probably more recipes dealing with what you can do with whole poultry or poultry pieces, especially chicken, than with any other kind of meat. But sausage? Why not? Poultry is one of the most heathful foods around. Ounce for ounce, it is a treasure house of protein and minerals and an absolute bargin when one compares the proportion of lean to fat meat. Chicken and turkey especially are recommended for people on low fat and/or low calorie diets. All poultry has the added advantage of being a rather bland meat. This means we can do just about anything to it to make it taste as we please. One person who had studied the possibilities of what can be done with poultry is Dr. Robert C. Baker of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

Dr Baker is the inventor of the so-called "chicken dog." In an attempt to fine new uses for poultry, especially laying hens past their prime, Dr. Baker and his colleagues found that one can do just about anything with chicken and turkey that one can do with red meat.

And poultry has the advantage of being cheaper and lower in fat than red meat. Lest anyone doubt that a chicken dog can taste like a "real" hot dog, sensory analysis of products developed by Dr. Baker and his colleagues has proven that people are just as apt to like a product made from chicken or turkey meat, even though it it may be a traditionally red meat product. The proliferation ath the corner deli of things like "turkey salami", "turkey pastrami", or "chicken bologna", are proof that the public is readily willing to accept these products made from poultry. Large companies would not invest the capital necessary to produce these products if the public did not accept them. Although Dr. baker's work extends beyond what the home sausage maker might find valuable, it does open up possibilities that anyone with a food grinder and a source of poultry will find exciting.

Because everyone's tastes are different, these recipes are meant to be guides or starting points for the home sausage maker. Generally speaking, a larger proportion of dark meat (or even all dark meat), produces a somewhat more pleasing sausage than a predominantly white or all white meat. Dark meat has a slightly highefr fat content whick a succesful sausage needs. Remember, were talking chicken and turkey here, so the fat content is already at bargin basement levels. As we noted earlier, poultry tends to be a rather bland meat. Generally speaking, a sausage made from chicken or turkey will need a little more spice than would a similar sausage made from red meat. When making poultry sausages for the first time, use these recipes as a guideline, but don't be afraid to be creative. Like more fennel in your Italian sausage? More garlic in your kielbasa? Try it, you'll probably like it! One final word: what about skin and added fat? Commercial sausages made from chicken and turkey meat do contain the skin and fat normally found on a whole bird. The inclusion of these two ingredients improve both taste and texture. Generally, I have found that the addition of some skin greatly improves the sausage.

Since we are talking about an essentially lean meat to begin with, the addition of a small amount of fat seems an acceptable price to pay for a more palatable sausage. But the decision is yours. If you are willing to sacrifice something in the way of taste and texture for an even leaner product, go right ahead. In the recipes that follow, when a recipe specifies, fo rexample, 4 lbs. of chicken meat, it presumes that about fifteen percent of that is skin and fat.

Experiment with the proportions to suit you and your family's individual tastes and needs. After all, isn't that one of the reasons you are making your own sausage to begin with? Source: Home Sausage Making by Charles G. Reavis ISBN: 0-88266-477-8 Typed by Carolyn Shaw 12-94.

Submitted By CAROLYN SHAW On 12-09-94

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